Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL
My thanks to Crof for posting a link to an update released by the World Health Organization dated November 28th called Interim surveillance recommendations for human infection with novel coronavirus.
Last week we learned of a `family cluster’ of cases in Saudi Arabia (see Novel coronavirus infection – update) that involved two confirmed cases, and two probable cases – bringing the total number of known cases to 6.
This latest update now refers to 7 confirmed cases, and reports `Three confirmed cases and the one probable case all belong to the same family’, meaning one of the probable cases has now been moved into the positive column.
(28 November 2012)
Based on additional information reported since the original surveillance recommendations, WHO is
updating its previously published guidance. WHO will continue to update these recommendations as
more information becomes available.
As of 28 November 2012, seven confirmed and one probable case of novel coronavirus infection in humans are known to have occurred. These cases range in time from June through November 2012 and occurred in the areas around Jeddah and Riyadh of Saudi Arabia (which are about 850 km apart), and in Doha, Qatar. Infection with the virus appears to have been acquired locally in each of these situations. All of the patients were male but the significance of this is unknown.
The clinical picture in all cases was an acute respiratory infection presenting with signs and symptoms of pneumonia. Four patients developed acute renal failure; one of these died. The remaining three patients had pneumonia that required intensive support, without renal failure, and recovered. Three confirmed cases and the one probable case all belong to the same family and were living in the same household.
The source of the virus is unknown, as is the mode of transmission. Available genetic sequence
data indicate that the virus is most closely related to a coronavirus found in bats; however, this does not conclusively support bats as a reservoir for the virus. Early investigations do not support direct exposure to bats as a mode of transmission.
The newly reported cases demonstrate that the virus has persisted over a period of at least 5 months and is geographically distributed over a wider area than was evidenced by the first two cases. Given that the exact extent of the distribution is unknown, WHO is taking the precaution of recommending an expansion of surveillance to monitor for the appearance of the virus in other countries.